By The Numbers

Date: March 16, 2017

Agency: North Dakota Joint Information Center

BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Highway Patrol logged more hours in flight during the six months of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest than they would typically fly over the course of four years.1

DAPL-related NDHP Aircraft Hours612
Number of Flights241
Average Time per Flight2.5

1 Months later, the white noise of the helicopters still brushes my skin like a nightgown, leaves red welts in the shape of eyes. I wake with my keys in my hands, ready, if they come, to wake the students and run.

Date: March 16, 2017

Agency: North Dakota Joint Information Center

The following numbers are a breakdown of the vehicles abandoned and towed from the Oceti camp

Total Vehicles Abandoned44
Snow Blade/Removal1
Snowmobile Sleds4
Flatbed Trailers6
Log Splitter1

2 I’m lucky. Mine isn’t one of them. Dragged by Val to the casino just ahead of the bulldozer tracks. In the months I spend in bed, I try each day to forget it. Not to imagine it there, in the farthest corner of the parking lot, drifts heaped against the aluminum like dirty laundry. Cabinets swung open, exposing particle board hearts. Socks toppled into the sink, iced into inhuman shapes. The Ziploc-covered window must be torn to flimsy teeth, snow swelling the pictures the kids drew, their journals, my lessons. Soaking the Star Quilt, mildewing the sunset-colored piecework. We all thought we could come back for what we left.

Date: March 7, 2017

Agency: North Dakota Joint Information Center

BISMARCK, ND – A snapshot of resources and costs diverted from normal operations3 to support State and Local response to ensure public safety and law and order in Morton County and the Bismarck region due to protest events and related illegal activity since August 10, 2016.

Days of Response Support 210
Hours of Response Support 331,721
State and Local Cost to Taxpayers (estimated as of March 6, 2017) $38.2M4
  • Personnel (Salaries, EMAC)
  • $30M
  • Personnel Support (Travel and per diem, lodging)
  • $4.1M
  • Equipment/Supplies (Cold weather gear, radios, gas)
  • $4.1M
    In State Agencies Providing Support 106
    Other States Providing Support 10
    Out of Stage Agencies Providing Supports 345

    3 Each sleeping bag held somebody who had given something up. Something bartered for those days spent chopping firewood, marching the shoulder of 1806, sorting cans of beans, snow-soaked labels peeling off in their hands. Each person, curled at night like a vine, learning to sleep still in the shadows of the body’s own warmth, had bartered something to see, for once, the river win.

    4 The US Department of Justice “awarded” $10 million dollars to the state of North Dakota for their “efforts” during the NoDapl movement. Energy Transfer Partners donated the following: $15 million to the State of North Dakota, $5 million to the University of Mary, $35,000 to North Dakota 4-H, $35,000 to North Dakota FFA, $140,000 to North Dakota Emergency Management Services along the pipeline route, $20,000 to Ipswich County, $20,000 to Campbell County, $20,000 to McPherson County, $20,000 to Beadle County, $20,000 to…

    5 On the coldest nights, you could hear these other lives. Broken housing contracts and paystubs-that-never-were fluttering their wings in the wind. The sleeves of the cheap jackets piling up in donations, somehow lifted into moonlight by the arms of family members left behind. Heirloom jewelry, bartered for gas money, clicking its clasps beneath the heartbeat of the drums. Jobs, pets, time, cash, houses. Gone. Floated up like the hovering smoke of tipis in December. Then, the burial sites west of the road. Gone. The easement keeping the pipeline from the river. Gone. Sacred Spaces east of the road. Gone. And then, the camp was too.

    [a beating]

    the / kneeling / is / not / like prayer.

    Dark as in Lunar Silence

    The moon tries to stay hidden, too, each
    attempt as unsuccessful as the last.


    The comprehensive account of you and me is just over five pages long.